In the last 36 years, the sexual diversity movement in Mexico has achieved significant advances that have made it possible for gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans (LGBT) citizens to gain access to some of the rights that historically had been denied to them.
Community Unites to Remember Bryan Higgins More than 75 people came together at Bronson Park in downtown Kalamazoo, MI to remember the life of Bryan ‘Feather Lynn’ Higgins on Wednesday, Aug. 13. Higgins, a member of the LGBTQ community, was severely beaten in San Francisco, CA on Aug. 10. According to the Examiner, police said they are investigating the case as attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon. His death has yet to be declared as a hate crime. His family took him off of life support at San Francisco General Hospital at 3:33 p.m. Pacific time on Wednesday, while friends and gatherers in Kalamazoo released balloons into the sky at the same time, 6:33 p.m. Eastern time. To show support for each other and for the Higgins family, the community sang songs and wrote their fondest memories of Higgins in chalk on the ground. “I’m very angry, but I’m letting love take over the emotion right now because anger is not the answer,” said Higgins’ uncle, Steve Horton. “Anger leads to hatred, hatred leads to crime.”
Swimming Beyond Racism A dedicated swimmer is back in the pool after being the victim of a hate crime five months ago, according to ABC 7 News. Omid, a 15-year-old middle school student from Chicago, heard the words “Hey Persian,” before he was violently attacked by one of his peers. The attacker broke Omid’s collarbone on both sides. Omid worried that he would ever be able to swim again. But, as he recovered, he received a visit from Olympic swimmer B.J. Johnson. The visit gave Omid the confidence to continue doing what he loved. Along with Johnson, community members came together to support his family. “We have all this outpouring of support...that’s what’s really helped,” said Omid’s mother, Melissa Babakhani. “We’re just going to focus on the good.” Although he still feels physical and emotional pain from the incident, Omid is swimming once again. “It affected me, but I am strong enough to get over it,” he said. Read the full story here.
Overwhelming support has poured in for Luke “Sasha” Fleischman, an agender high school student who was set on fire Monday night on an Oakland, CA bus. Police arrested a 16-year-old Oakland student for the immolation, and announced on Thursday that he will be charged as an adult for a hate crime. Sasha was wearing a skirt at the time of the attack, which friends and family fear may have been the reason Sasha was targeted. The teenage attacker later admitted that he did it because he was “homophobic,” according to lead police investigator Anwawn Jones. Sasha is currently a high school senior in Berkeley, CA. In less than a day after the attack, supporters came forward to help Sasha, who sustained third-degree burns and will require massive skin grafting. Update Nov. 14: Show Your Support in Oakland Not In Our Town and Not In Our School will be joining the Rainbow Road march today at 5:30 p.m. We invite all to come forward and support a safe and inclusive community for all.
By Paul R. Tetreault Director, Ford’s Theatre
Closed captioning on NIOS films This summer Not In Our School was approached by the California School of the Deaf, who is about to start their NIOS campaign this fall. They asked us how many NIOS films were accessible with closed captions. Up until now, we only had closed captions for our PBS films. However, thanks to our wonderful interns this summer who moved into action, we now have 17 of our most popular films with accurate closed captions on YouTube! To access the films go to this link. Please let us know if you used the closed caption option and how it worked for you. Launch Not In Our School with a NIOS campaign package
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